Preventive Healthcare to Drive Growth of the MedTech Sector

Article By : Confederation of Indian Industry

The medical technology industry is seen as India’s future with huge growth potential reaching $50 billion by 2025.

The medical technology industry is seen as India’s future with huge growth potential reaching $50 billion by 2025. Moreover, India attempts to achieve 10-12% of the global market share of medical devices sector to arrive at a $100-300 billion industry. In this regard the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-National Medical Technology Forum (NMTF) recently organized the 14th Medtech Global Summit, with the theme “Seizing the Global Opportunity”, earlier this month in New Delhi.

“Our way of life has got globalized. There is universalization of technology which has led to the need to be self reliant. In India, there is no dearth of human resources to attain this objective. We are self reliant not only in manufacturing but also in research and academia. Medtech and health tech are new and upcoming areas and going forward we need to focus on preventive healthcare.”

Dr. N. Yuvaraj, Joint Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said, “The Department of Pharmaceuticals is in constant touch with the medical device sector. Initially, there was no policy for this sector; however, now we are working on a document on medtech policy that we have shared with the industry, which will be a guidance document on what are the interventions that need to be followed. PLI scheme has already been launched to address import dependance. Around 21 applicants have come forward for the scheme and have revised the guidelines so that small industries can apply.”

“The growth and development of the medical technology sector forms an important part of the Department of Biotechnology’s scope and innovation and entrepreneurship are its core components. The Department of Biotechnology is also working on a draft medical device policy the key components of which are leveraging state of the art technology, setting up of common infrastructure, promotion of medical device parks, reduction of import dependence, easing the complex regulatory framework, and developing uniform code for manufacturing,” said Dr. Alka Sharma, Senior Adviser DBT and Advisor BIRAC.

“The recently launched Government schemes in the medtech sector are all in the right directions to provide for indigenous manufacturing. Some of the features of the medical devices bill will encourage manufacturing. Collaboration has been the mainstay of this,” Himanshu Baid, Chairman CII National Medical Technology Forum and Managing Director Polymedicure Ltd, said. “By 2047, we will be the home to medtech devices of $25 billion value and will emerge as leaders in critical components and the market value will be between $150-250 billion. We not only need to see how ready we are as a country to adapt to new technology but also need to understand if the government is equipped enough to assess these emerging technologies. There needs to be harmonization of global standards as well as harmonization of GST rates. From my side there are some key asks to the Government, which are inverted duty structure, R&D and innovation linked schemes, RoDTEP and exports, technology upgradation for domestic medical device companies, separate fund for common facilities and PLI schemes need to be expanded to more import dependent medical devices.”

Dr. Ravi Kant Sharma, Deputy Drugs Controller, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, talked about the class A&B devices falling under formal regulations from October 2022. He said all the notified medical devices are currently under mandatory registration and the transition from registration to licensing is a challenge, along with the classification since more than 5,000 medical devices will fall under the regulation.

“Today, there is no specific protocol for any device validation. We need competent authorities for which we need to bring all concerned authorities such as DBT, CSIR and DST together. Once we have the validation protocol defined, the capability and the capacity to carry out the exercise need to be ensured,” said Girish Krishnamurthy CEO  & MD Tata Medical & Diagnostics.

Pavan Choudary, Managing Director, Vyjgon India Pvt Ltd, commented on the drivers of growth for the medical devices sector—the first being market confidence, which is the analysis of how the economy is doing and the capacity being added. He apprised that India is doing well in this vertical since the capacity of hospitals, which forms 80% of the healthcare sector, is rising both in the public and the private sector. The other thing driving growth is business confidence, which is the anticipation of the future by the businessmen and the level of satisfaction with the policy and regulatory landscape. He suggested that this constitutes as the vertical having the most scope for improvement.

Addressing the Medical Devices Bill, Sahajanand Medical Technologies Ltd CEO Ganesh Sabat said, “There needs to be a clause on reporting of adverse events. Hospitals and doctors need to report these adverse events for which there needs to be a common online reporting system.”

Shishir Gupta, Head Growth and Strategic Initiatives, Wipro GE Healthcare PVT Ltd, said, “We are at an inflection point and we have the opportunity to adopt to technology more and more with a government framework to support. Need to deliberate on how diagnostics can be made more personalized. There will be a time when multitude of AI will come together simultaneously.

V.K. Rai, Scientist F, TDB, DST said, “Our main mandate has been to support indigenous commercialization. We have funded more than 100 companies and created a corpus of more than 200 crores. With technology intervention, we would like to bring lot of fusion in R&D in the medtech sector. Besides providing soft loans we also have an initiate on national awards reaching out to potential entrepreneurs in the medtech sector.”

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